Heading into the final weekend of basketball, all hope remains in the Scott Central Braves to bring some hardware back to the area. I'm calling it now, Christ Pobst, are you listening, this is for you... Scott Central over Jefferson, then over whoever is next. They're destined for glory this season, and next, and maybe the next.
Congratulations to the other Bulldogs on their upset of St. Charles West. I watched about 35 seconds of the game on taped replay, and who can root against any kid winning a state title. It's what we all shoot for in high school athletics, so, Notre Dame, here's to you. This was your year.
Hey Sikeston, get ready, 2008-2009 is all wrapped up with a nice bow on top.
With the announcements of last week's all-star girls team, according to your's truly, here comes the boys' selection.
From Sikeston -- Matt Ritch (Sr). Ritch learned the system at Sikeston very well over the course of his short stay, and helped guide the Bulldogs to the district title game once again in the 2007-2008 season. His 3-point baskets raining from beyond the arc raised fans to their feet all season long as Sikeston made an impressive run towards the district tournament.
From Sikeston -- Michael Porter (Jr). Porter was once again, well, um, Porter. His numbers spoke for themselves, and if he's not mentioned in the top five of your All-Whatever-You-Wanna-Name-It Team, then it might be time to call your doctor. He electrified crowds, and stepped foot on nearly every square inch of the floor in every game for the Bulldogs all season long. Good thing about it is, he's back for another season.
From NMCC -- Kony Ealy (So). That's right, he's a sophomore. I've said it before, Ealy has become a man among boys throughout the 2007-2008 season, and if he continues his pace, he'll be mentioned among the best by his senior season under head coach Travis Day. Ealy has the potential to be All-State in both basketball and football. No. 22 was a joy to watch this season, and will be, for two more years at the prep level.
From Scott Central -- D.D. Gillespie (Sr). Gillespie was once a dominant scorer for the Braves, but has become more of a giver than a taker, as he shares the rock game-in and game-out for Scott Central. He also headlines the defensive front in the full-court press defense for head coach Ronnie Cookson, and he does it well I might add. If you're up for an exciting weekend, head to Columbia to watch Gillespie and the Braves attempt to bring home yet another trophy for the case that's already busting at the seams.
From Oran -- Kody Campbell (Sr). Campbell came into his senior season alongside a younger, inexperienced squad, and helped lead them as far as they could go once they met up with Scott Central in districts. He racked up over 1000 points in his four year career with the Eagles, and is now heading to the diamond for the baseball season.
From East Prairie -- Tony Jones (Sr). Jones racked up impressive numbers in his senior campaign -- 19 points and 11 rebounds per game. That equals out to an average double-double for those doing the math. Jones recorded over 20 two-fers in the 2007-2008 season for the Eagles.
Boys Coach of the Year -- Travis Day, NMCC. Day has righted the ship of the Eagles' program in the two short years that he's been the captain. Coming off of a 5-19 season from a year ago, NMCC is once again a district champion, a sectional winner and came up just a few points shy of victory against Maplewood on Saturday at Farmington. Day said it himself, the Eagles were two turnovers away from a date in Columbia at the Final Four. There's always next year.
Receiving honorable mention for the boys: Brandon Washington, Sherwin Jones and Juqualin Wiggins (Sikeston), Byron Wright (Portageville), Cody Romas (Oran), MC Williams (East Prairie), Donald Dixon (Charleston), and Drew Thomas, Caleb Johnson and Bobby Hatchett (Scott Central).
Scott Central begins their title run on Thursday afternoon at 12:20 p.m. Pobst and Andrew Powell will keep everybody posted on the Final Four. Jefferson comes in with an identical record of 27-2, so the Braves will have their hands full. Stay tuned, SCC news is on the way. Good luck Braves, now bring on some baseball.